Diocese of Rochester has two new priests
ROCHESTER — Two men joined the ranks of the priesthood for the Diocese of Rochester June 1, as Bishop Salvatore R. Matano ordained Father Matthew J. Walter and Father Daniel L. White during a liturgy at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Father Walter and Father White are answering God’s call during a time of unique challenges for the Catholic Church, Bishop Matano said during his homily. Despite these challenges, the role of the priest is the same at its core as it always has been. Priests are called to live among their people and share in their parishioners’ joys, sorrows, celebrations and tragedies, the bishop said.
“The mission has remained the same: to restore, to reconcile; to console and to comfort; to bless, to teach and to sanctify; to welcome those who still seek Christ, as the church’s cornerstone, and to reach out to those whose wounds need to be healed by the church,” Bishop Matano said.
Both of the new priests are lifelong Catholics who spent time in religious communities before discerning their calls to the diocesan priesthood. Father Walter grew up in Rochester, where Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph Parish was his first church home. He attended Aquinas Institute and earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Nazareth College in Pittsford. He spent several years as a professional church musician and another several years in a religious community in Florence, Italy, before becoming a seminarian for the Diocese of Rochester.
Father Walter was to celebrate his first Mass June 2 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Victory/St. Joseph Church in Rochester. His first assignment will take him to Wayne County, where he will serve as parochial vicar at the parishes of St. Michael in Newark, St. Joseph the Worker in Lyons, Clyde and Savannah, and Blessed Trinity Catholic Community in Wolcott, Sodus and Sodus Point.
Father Walter said he is looking forward to being able to celebrate the sacraments, particularly the sacrament of reconciliation.
“It’s such a powerful instrument of God’s mercy, to be able to bring God’s mercy to people so directly,” he said.
Father White also said he is looking forward to celebrating the sacraments. He grew up in Owego, where he belonged to St. Patrick Parish. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Buffalo, studied at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, and spent several years as a friar in the California-Arizona province of the Order of Discalced Carmelites before becoming a diocesan seminarian.
He was to celebrate his first Mass June 2 at 9 a.m. at St. Patrick Church in Owego. He will remain in Owego for his first assignment, as parochial vicar of Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes.
“That will certainly be a humbling experience. I think it will be good for the parish to have someone from there, who they’ve been praying for all along,” Father White said.